A private security guard acts as the first line of defence for a property or premises. Guards are employed to protect various assets, ranging from the security of the property or premises to staff, visitors and customers and equipment, money or stock.
At CDX Security, our guards and officers are personable and experienced individuals, dedicated to ensuring the safety of anyone visiting the premises they are tasked with guarding. As one of the SIA’s top five per cent of UK security firms, our practices are industry-leading to ensure our officers can handle any given situation quickly and safely.
How to become a private security guard
Having a private security guard (or guards) on-site is common across a range of sectors, including retail, warehousing, corporate offices, and construction.
There are several requirements expected of a private security guard. They must:
- Be aged 18 or over
- Pass enhanced background checks
- Have a Security Industry Authority licence
- Have a full driving license (specifically for patrol guards)
- Have a first-aid certificate
- Have a good level of fitness
At CDX, we’re part of the Security Industry Authority, meaning all of our guards have an SIA licence. You can find out how to get an SIA approved private security licence via the government website.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a private security guard?
1. Remain visible to deter crime
Having well-trained security personnel is an effective deterrent for criminals. Security guards should make themselves known to anyone visiting the premises they are guarding to stop any potential criminal activity.
Crime prevention is a core part of any security officer’s role. Providing a physical presence, patrolling, and observing the day-to-day goings-on will help to deter criminal behaviour and offer important insight into any anti-social activity.
2. Observe and report any concerns
Surveillance is another important responsibility for security guards. Regular observation and reporting mean they will be alert to any abnormalities or red flags.
“Observe and report” is the bread and butter of the security officer role. They must have exceptional situational awareness and the experience and training to identify suspicious behaviour, knowing when to escalate a situation and when to intervene themselves.
3. Protect staff, customers, visitors, and assets
Providing peace of mind to anyone visiting a shop, office, warehouse – or any site where security presence is needed – is paramount.
Security officers play a vital role in ensuring staff, customers and visitors feel safe, which will positively contribute to repeat custom and staff wellbeing. Officers must remain vigilant against any potential threats and be able to handle any challenging situations quickly and calmly, ensuring the continued safety of anyone on site.
Public protection is the main priority for private security guards, irrelevant of whether their role centres around concierge services, regular patrols, mobile patrols, canine units or keyholding and alarm response.
4. Remain compliant and follow procedures
Security guards must adhere to a specific code of conduct to ensure their behaviour is compliant. At CDX, we’re part of the Security Industry Authority, so our officers are all SIA licence holders. This means they must uphold the standards of conduct and behaviour that have been established by the SIA.
The six commitments for SIA licence holders are as follows:
- Act with honesty and integrity
- Be trustworthy
- Protect the people and property you are entrusted to protect
- Be professional at work
- Act with fairness and impartiality at work
- Be accountable for your decisions and actions
Any security officer not found to have behaved in the ways set out in the Code of Conduct may have their licence suspended or revoked.
When a security guard is required to act in response to criminal activity, they must follow the procedure laid out by the end-hirer, which will likely differ from place to place. Understanding the correct procedures and adhering to these is vital, and forms part of the overall Code of Conduct that all guards should follow.
5. Analyse safety and propose security solutions
Security guards will very quickly learn the daily habits of the premises at which they are stationed. Through their consistent surveillance, they will be able to assess risk and understand the safety requirements of those premises to avoid potential issues and crime.
Risk management is an integral part of a private security guard’s role, and can be classified into five core elements:
Private security guards demonstrate their worth when they can propose alternative solutions that will positively contribute to the overall safety rating of the premises they are tasked with protecting.
Depending on the role in question, private security guards can have a range of responsibilities, such as:
- Regular patrols and searches of areas/equipment
- Monitoring CCTV
- Gatehouse duties, checking those entering and leaving the premises
- Helping to provide a safe environment for employees and visitors
But above all, their main priority ensuring that visitors, customers, and staff feel safe when visiting a retail space, place of work or factory setting.
Investing in highly trained and experienced security personnel will positively impact your business operation. Partnering with a trusted and reputable company will provide the peace of mind that the safety of your premises is being looked after by a reliable and responsible security partner, alleviating stress and helping your business continue to run as smoothly as possible.